Money raised will fill 220+ holiday hampers for local families and individuals in-need this Christmas. Anything left over will help the Trail Salvation Army meet local need in the new year. (Trail Times file photo)

Trail church only halfway to Christmas fundraising appeal

This season the Salvation Army is distributing the red #HOPEbracelet at the Christmas kettles

With only days left until Christmas, time is running out for the Trail Salvation Army to raise $140,000 – the money needed for the church to help impoverished locals this season and through part of next year.

Related story: Trail church needs help at Christmas kettles

The branch is only halfway there, having raised $20,000 at the kettles and a little over $50,000 through its mail-in appeal.

Spiritual leader Jessica Hoeft is hoping to meet – or better yet, surpass – the fundraising target this Christmas because there is a lot at stake for the Trail ministries in the new year.

With the growing number of people seeking help at the Rossland Avenue soup kitchen and food bank pantry, comes the need for more square-footage.

“We are really hoping and looking for a new building for our family services,” Hoeft began. “Where Kate’s Kitchen is currently located, the space is just not working for us any more,” she explained.

“We want to be able to offer more services than just food, but there is no space, and the space we do have is not safe or accessible for everyone.”

While a big slice of fundraising over Christmas helps the church provide holiday cheer to families and individuals who don’t have the luxury to afford the niceties, contributions at the kettles and through the mail are critical for the tough months ahead.

“The money raised is also what helps us keep going for the new year and supports the year-round programs and possible changes as well,” Hoeft added.

“We are in desperate need of a new space, but without the funds supporting us, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to make the current spot safe and usable.”

Bell ringers are still needed to tend the Trail kettles, both indoor and outside.

Anyone who can help fill the two-hour shifts is asked to contact Loretta at the Salvation Army Church at 250.368.3515.

Hosted at more than 2,000 locations across Canada, the annual Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign is the organization’s largest fundraising drive of the year and would not be possible without the thousands of kettle workers who volunteer their time.

Provincially, the goal is to raise $4.5 million to help feed, clothe and shelter individuals and families in-need.

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